Neuropsychology

Lifestyle, Neurotransmitters and the Brain

Dr Matthew Bambling (2014) approaches the question of why (how?) nutrition might affect our brains by noting that nutrients serve numerous functions, such as energy metabolism, maintenance of healthy mood, protection and growth of neural structures, and the up- or down-regulation of genes involved in healthy brain metabolism. Most importantly, however, nutrients are involved with neurotransmitters... »

Hard-wired to connect: Mirror neurons and empathy

Many people have suspected for a long time that we human beings are designed to be able to experience things happening for another person: in good times or in bad. So we see a stranger clumsily bump their head on a low-hanging branch at the park, and we flinch, too. We hear that a friend has gotten some good news about a medical diagnosis, and we are genuinely happier. Yet although we have suspect... »

Counselling and the Brain: Five Major Processes

The research in neuroscience is highly supportive of counselling’s emphasis on deep listening, empathic understanding, strength building, and wellness (Ivey, Ivey, Zalaquett, & Quirk, 2011). Counselling is shown to change the organisation of the brain: a learning process as the brain responds to stimuli and creates neural pathways to accommodate new information (Ivey, 2009). “Information” includes... »

Counselling and the Neurobiology of Personal Experience

The research in neuroscience is highly supportive of counselling’s emphasis on deep listening, empathic understanding, strength building, and wellness (Ivey, Ivey, Zalaquett, & Quirk, 2011). Counselling is shown to change the organisation of the brain: a learning process as the brain responds to stimuli and creates neural pathways to accommodate new information (Ivey, 2009). “Information” includes... »

The Neuroscience of Facial Recognition

When we look at a face, it is not just a special object amongst objects. The face is uniquely perceived and interpreted. The brain has even evolved a dedicated area in the neural landscape, the fusiform face area or FFA (Kanwisher et al, 1997), to specialise in facial recognition. This is part of a complex visual system that can determine a surprising number of things about another person. The ... »

Psychotherapy and the Brain

Our work is not an enviable task. People come with difficulties that range from social dysfunction to emotional disturbance. We do our best to help people to find direction and understanding, but it is not uncommon to see the same people again some time in the future. There is a disappointing amount of recurrence of disturbance and difficulty. Making therapy stick is not an easy task. »